WHO launches campaign to make drugs safer for children

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 13 December 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1227
  1. Geoff Watts

    An initiative from the World Health Organization has been launched to make drugs as simply and safely available to children as they are to adults.

    Speaking last week at the launch in London, WHO’s assistant director general, Howard Zucker, said that “there is a gap between the availability of children’s medicines and the actual need. That gap is global and must be addressed.”

    The problem is not new. “It’s a reality we’ve lived with for many years,” Dr Zucker admitted. Most drugs are developed for and tested in adults. Less than a third come in a form appropriate for children.

    As a result, many children are treated using drugs that are effectively unlicensed. Medical staff may be obliged to …

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